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Commissioner Basic Training. Welcome to One Day session Will include: Why Commissioners? The Commissioner’s Top Priority: the Unit How to Help a Unit. Commissioner Basic Training. Why Commissioners?. Session One. Learning Objectives. At the end of this session, you should be able to:.

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Commissioner Basic Training

Welcome to One Day session

Will include:

Why Commissioners?

The Commissioner’s Top Priority: the Unit

How to Help a Unit

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Commissioner Basic Training

Why Commissioners?

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Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • State the purpose of the Boy Scouts of America

  • State the mission of the council and district

  • Explain the four-function concept of council

  • and district operation

  • Describe the commissioner unit service role

  • and its relationship to supporting a unit in a quality program

  • State the methods and steps of good unit program planning

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Boy Scouting:

Cub Scouting:

Aims & Methods of Scouting

  • Association with youth & adults

  • Ethical decision making

  • Group activities

  • Recognition

  • Democratic process

  • Curiosity, exploration & adventure

  • Advancement

  • High adventure & sports

  • Activities

  • Service

  • Personal development

  • Special programs & events

  • Ideals

  • Patrols

  • Outdoors

  • Advancement

  • Personal growth

  • Adult association

  • Leadership development

  • Uniform

  • Home & neighborhood centered

  • Parent involvement

  • Advancement plan

  • The den

  • Ideals

  • Uniform

  • Activity program


Character Development

Citizenship Training

Personal Fitness

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Missions of the…


To organize and support successful units.

  • Four-Function Plan of council and district:

  • Membership/Relationships

    • Available to all youth

  • Finance

    • Provide adequate funds

  • Program

    • Maintain standards & policies

  • Unit Service

    • Serve chartered organizations


To guide and support its districts

A COUNCIL is a voluntary association of citizens which promotes the Scouting program within a geographical area.

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Scouting Unit

Local Council

Effective Units

Success =


The Commissioner Concept

The commissioner is the liaison between the local council and Scouting units. The commissioner’s mission is to keep units operating at maximum efficiency, maintain regular contact with unit leaders, counsel leaders on where to find assistance, note weaknesses in programs, and suggest remedies. The commissioner is successful when units effectively deliver the ideals of Scouting to their members.


Keep units operating

Regular contact

Counsel leaders

Help fix problems

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Most Important Resource


Commissioner Orientation

Orientation Projects

The Commissioner Concept

The District Commissioner Staff

Providing Unit Service

Your Commissioner Style

Be a Lifesaving Commissioner

How to remove a Volunteer


Youth Protection

Unit Charter Renewal

Unit Commissioner Training



Distinguished Commissioner Service Award

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Watch for the five major areas of service

Job of Unit Commissioner

Review answers to pre-opening quiz

Refer to Commissioner Job Description cards

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Commissioner’s Role

What are the five major roles of a commissioner?

  • Friend

  • Representative

  • Unit “doctor”

  • Teacher

  • Counselor

More details in Commissioner Fieldbook, page 11

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Supporting the Unit

Buzz groups

Identify and discuss at least 5 indicators that should be monitored to determine the health of a scouting unit.

Cub Scout PackBoy Scout Troop

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Supporting the Unit

What are the indicators to be monitored?

Cub Scout PackBoy Scout Troop

  • Leadership

  • Webelos den

  • Advancement

  • Attendance

  • Adult attendance

  • Den activity

  • Tiger Cub den

  • Den chiefs or den aides

  • Membership

  • Planned program

  • Meeting operation

  • Youth leadership

  • Advancement

  • Adult assistance

  • Attendance

  • Outdoor program

  • Patrol activity

  • Budget plan

  • Membership

  • Planned program

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Supporting the Unit

Would a tool for evaluating a unit’s health be useful?

How might you use these worksheets?

Would a unit leader resist evaluation?

If you understood the unit’s profile, where might you go for help?

Commissioner Helps for

Packs, Troops, and Crews

Commissioner Worksheet

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Unit Program Planning

Plan your work and work your plan

Understand the program planning process & tools (see chapter 24, Cub Scout Leader Book)

  • Resources to help with program planning:

  • Cub Scout and Webelos Scout Program Helps

  • Pack Program Planning Chart

  • Cub Scout Leader Program Notebook

  • Council Program Calendar

  • Chartered Organization program needs

  • Other planning opportunities:

  • Annual Pack program planning conference

    • (attended by Cubmaster, pack committee, den leaders, den chiefs, parents, unit commissioner)

  • Monthly pack leaders planning meeting

  • Monthly den chief & den leader meeting

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Unit Program Planning

Plan your work and work your plan

Follows a pattern which involves the boys

(see chapter 8, Scoutmaster Handbook)

  • Resources to help with program planning:

  • Troop Program Features

  • Troop Program Planning Worksheets

  • Boy Scout Leader Program Notebook

  • Council Program Calendar

  • Charter organization program needs

  • Five Planning Steps:

  • Do homework (get information ready)

  • Find out what Scouts want

  • Hold troop leaders’ program planning conference

    • (attended by Patrol Leaders Council and Scoutmaster)

  • Obtain troop committee support

  • Share the plan with scouts, parents, UC, others

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Unit Program Planning

Plan your work and work your plan

As the coach, you are on the sidelines

(see chapter 5, Varsity Scout Leader Guidebook)

  • Resources to help with program planning:

  • Varsity Program Features

  • Team Activity Planning Worksheets

  • Varsity Scout Game Plan – Volumes 1-3

  • Council Program Calendar

  • Charter organization program needs

  • Five Planning Steps:

  • Do homework (get information ready)

  • Conduct the Team’s Annual Planning Clinic

  • Share the Plan

  • Quarterly Program Detailing

  • Monthly Program Detailing

  • Weekly Checkup

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Unit Program Planning

Plan your work and work your plan

Information on planning Crew’s program

(see chapter 3, Venturing Leader Manual)

  • Planning process includes officers and members:

  • Suggest ideas for activities

  • Plan the activities

  • Participate in the activities

  • Planning steps:

  • Program Capability Inventory completed by adults

  • PCI information organized on Program Planning Forms

  • Venturing Activity Interest Survey completed by Venturers

  • Brainstorm ideas for activities using information collected above

  • Discuss and evaluate each idea

  • Select activities and place on program calendar

  • Each month, plan details for next month’s activities

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We have learned about:

Aims and Methods of Scouting

The Commissioner Service Role

Supporting the Unit

Unit Program Planning

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Commissioner Basic Training

Units: The Commissioner’s Top Priority

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Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Understand commissioner priorities and how to be an effective leader yourself

  • Explain how unit committees are organized to support the unit leaders

  • State the role of the commissioner in youth protection

  • Recognize the standard for quality unit operation

  • Evaluate unit operation

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Unit Visitation Reports

Individual reports on visits made before this training session

  • Summary comments:

  • Become more familiar with all resource material to improve your evaluations

  • Increase understanding of the total situation in the unit

  • Another visit opportunity –

    • Review “Unit Contacts” section in Commissioner Fieldbook – page 15

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Good Unit Service

Take precedence over all other Scouting efforts


Commissioner Priorities

Commissioners are wonderful Scouters

May be asked to do many things

NOT the primary responsibilities of commissioners

Concentrate your Scouting time on helping specific unit needs

Unit Service

Everything else in Scouting

Falling into the Trap

Commissioners can fall into the trap of doing everything else in Scouting except appointed job: Unit Service --- It happens!

(see page 24, Commissioner Fieldbook)

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Effective Leadership

How to be effective leaders

  • Evaluate and improve your own performance

  • Maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude

  • Work successfully with adults

  • Guide unit leaders in working successfully with boys

  • Set a good example for the boys and other adults

  • Continue learning and growing in leadership skills

  • Practice good communications

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Break and Lunch

Open Forum for questions and concerns

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Fast Start training helps a new leader get started right

Unit Committee

Unit Leader

Unit Committee Functions

Understand what help a unit leader should receive from a unit committee

Unit Commissioner

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Functions of the Committee

Cub Scouting:





Public Relations



Friends of Scouting




Provide leadership

Complete PCI

Secure equipment

Provide facilities

Find resources

Support program

Boy Scouting:

Leadership selection







Support outdoor program needs


Provide leadership





High adventure


Personal development


Special programs


Scoutmaster Handbook

Pages 157

Troop Committee Guidebook


Cub Scout Leader Book


23-5 to 23-7


Venturing Leader Manual

Pages 18-19


Varsity Scout Leader Guidebook

Pages 22 & 24

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Youth Protection for Boy Scout and Cub Scout Leader Basic Training


Introduction to Youth Protection

Boy Scouts of America is deeply concerned about the general welfare of our children

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The Commissioner and Youth Protection Training

Commissioners can help in several ways:

Conduct annual Youth Protection review

Help with leader selection

Coach unit people

Promote use of videos

Explain about handbook inserts

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Quality Unit Operation Training

Unit Commissioners must be alert to situations that can signal a unit is in trouble.

Divide into buzz groups and discuss possible danger signals

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Quality Unit Operation Training

  • Possible list of Danger Signs:

  • Style of leadership

    • Does not understand patrol method

    • Lacks faith in boys running troop

    • Wants to keep authority

    • Can train only by mass instruction

    • Temperament is not compatible

  • Unit is not meeting

  • Unit is without adult leaders

  • Unit has no committee

  • No new members are being added

  • Low attendance at meetings

  • Weak or poorly organized program

  • No advancement

  • No participation in camps

  • No unit budget

Buzz Groups

Each group reports their list

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Quality Unit Operation Training

National Quality Unit Award for

pack, troop, team, and crew operations

These forms represent desirable and important standards for quality unit operation

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Review Training

We have learned about:

Commissioner Priorities

Effective Commissioner Leadership

Unit Committee Functions

Introduction to Youth Protection

Quality Unit Operation

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Commissioner Basic Training Training

How to Help a Unit

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Session Training


Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • Use counseling fundamentals to encourage the unit leader and to lead him to self-sufficiency

  • Explain the annual commissioner service plan

  • State methods of membership management

  • Use the resources of the district committee

  • Use the unit charter renewal process in rechartering a unit

  • Use commissioner lifesaving techniques to resolve unit life-threatening problems

  • Make a meaningful visit to a unit

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Counseling Training

Ability to listen in such a way that they will solve their own problems

Best way to help a unit is to strengthen its leadership through effective counseling

Commissioners must be good counselors to do their jobs well

Counseling fundamentals:

Carefully select time and place

Work to understand what the leader is saying

Let the leader know you hear and understand

DO NOT give advice. Guide them to solve their own problem

Summarize from time to time

Support their thinking with information

More information in “Counseling” chapter of Commissioner Fieldbook

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Commissioner Basic Training Training

The District Committee

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District Committee Training

Four Function Organization:




Unit Service

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Membership Functions Training

  • Fall Roundup

  • Spring Roundup

  • Special membership rallies

  • Advice and help to units with membership problems

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Finance Functions Training

  • Sustaining Membership Enrollment

    • and Friends of Scouting

  • Trust Funds

    • (James E. West Award)

  • Advice to units

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Program Functions Training

  • Camping

  • Activities

  • Advancement

  • Training

  • Health & Safety

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Program Functions Training


Order of the Arrow

Where to go camping

Summer camp promotion

Log Cabin Gateway


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Scouting for Food Training

Program Functions


Scout Expo

Scouting for Food

Scouting Anniversary Week

District Recognition Dinner

Cub Day Camp

Derbys: Pinewood, Soapbox, etc.


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Program Functions Training


Eagle Boards of Review

Merit Badge Counselors

Venturing awards

Advice / training for units

Heroism awards

Adult recognition

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Program Functions Training


Cub Scout:

Fast Start

New Leader Essentials

Leader Specific Training

Youth Protection

Pow Wow, Roundtable

Wood Badge


Boy Scout:

Fast Start

New Leader Essentials

Leader Specific Training

Intro to Outdoor Leadership

Youth Protection


Wood Badge



Fast Start

New Leader Essentials

Leader Specific Training

Intro to Outdoor Leadership

Youth Protection


Wood Badge



Den Chief

National Youth Leadership Training

Junior Leader Backpack Training

Venturing Leadership Skills Course

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Specialists Training

Request specific assistance

Country Doctor

(unit commissioner)

Provide consultation or specialized treatment

Determine need

District Committee

Unit Service


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Membership Management Training

Buzz Groups

Discuss how to get and keep young men

Potential Scenarios:

Unit members concentrated into one age group – need to recruit

Unit not aware of membership situation – need an inventory

Units at risk to drop charter – needs member management focus

Recruiting opportunities – Boy-fact surveys, list of Webelos scouts, birthday greetings, specific invitations to day camps & long-term camps, etc

Also see membership section of Commissioner helps for packs, troops, and crews

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Membership Management Training

Report from groups


Membership for membership’s sake is not the name of the game

Recruiting will ensure continuation of the unit

Good program is the key to attracting boys

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Break Training

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Unit Charter Renewal Process Training

Discussion of renewal process

Note: Unit Commissioner should be involved in a majority of the steps

More information in Commissioner Fieldbook, Charter Renewal chapter

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Annual Commissioner Service Plan Training

Gives specific purpose for some of your regular and supportive contact with units

See page 17 in Commissioner Fieldbook for more details

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The Lifesaving Commissioner Training

Sometimes a commissioner is called on to save the life of a unit.

What needs to be done?

How do you go about it?

More information in Commissioner Fieldbook,

Be a Lifesaving Commissioner chapter on page 28

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UNIT Training

The Lifesaving Commissioner

  • Youth dropping out

  • No youth recruiting or poor recruiting methods

  • No adult leader

  • No planned program

  • No youth leaders

  • No discipline

  • Unit stops meeting

  • Charter lapses

  • Charter organization leader unhappy with the unit

  • Only one adult active

  • No involvement of parents

  • Adult conflicts and poor communications

  • Others

Watch for Vital Signs

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Go into Action Fast Training

The Lifesaving Commissioner

  • Specific things you can do:

  • Consult your ADC or DC

  • Ask some basic questions

    • What must be solved?

    • Possible alternatives?

    • Which strategy first?

    • Who to involve?

    • Is it saved?

    • What is Plan B?

  • Be enthusiastic

  • Apply “first aid”

  • Apply “second aid”

  • Generate teamwork

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The Lifesaving Commissioner Training

Unit No Meeting

Move quickly to salvage remaining leadership and membership

Unit with No Leader

See that leader is replaced quickly and then trained

Unit with No Committee

Work with chartered organization to understand importance

Unit with No New Members

Help find ways to grow membership and ensure program is attracting and keeping.

Unit Conflict with Chartered Organization

Be a mediator. Bring together to talk.

New Leader lacks Training

Help orient and provide information

Unit with Weak Leadership

Counsel with leader. Encourage with Chartered Org

Typical Hurry Cases

More information in

Commissioner Fieldbook

Page 28-30

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The Lifesaving Commissioner Training

Using a team approach

Ad Hoc




What are the benefits of a formal lifesaving team?

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Review Training

We have learned about:


The District Committee

Membership Management

Unit Charter Renewal Process

Annual Commissioner Service Plan

The Lifesaving Commissioner

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Second unit visit guidelines: Training

Go by yourself

Stay only 15 minutes

Make appropriate worksheet changes

Third unit visit guidelines:

Visit the unit committee meeting

Must wear your uniform – be example

Give out your address and phone number

Take time to visit the Charter representative

Unit Committee

Next Unit Visits

Today we have learned about dealing with units, its adult organization & functions, and the quality program.

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Summary Training

As a leader,

You have made a personal commitment..

…to Scouting

...of time, effort, and knowledge

…of patience and understanding

…to be a living example for unit leaders

…to lend a helping hand to fellow Scouters.

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Closing Training

The Challenge-

You now see your task

Training is just beginning – continue to gain knowledge

Commissioner must be a friend to units

Goal is more boys with better Scouting experience